Ice Cream Company Behind Offensive Spotify Ad Offers Apology

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday August 20, 2019

International ice cream company Magnum has tendered an apology for the Spotify ad that shocked British listeners recently when an accented male voice narrated a comparison between the "guilty pleasure" of a same-sex hug and the enjoyment of one of Magnum's frozen treats.

As previously reported at EDGE, the frozen dessert behemoth — which has supported LGBTQ causes with rainbow-themed editions of its ice cream bars, and which in 2015 launched an campaign in which gender-nonconforming ice cream fans were "true to [their] pleasure" — ran the controversial ad on Spotify in the UK, where listeners heard a man's accented voice announce, "A hug for my boyfriend — that's my guilty pleasure. Because in my country, just a simple hug with the man I love could send me to prison for more than 10 years."

A social media reaction was quick in coming, with those who heard the ad decrying it as tasteless. Some charged that the ad was "racist" and "homophobic," while others questioned whether nations that punish people for being gay would allow the eating of ice cream.

A company spokesperson told Huffington Post UK that the firm "has a history of championing LGBTQ+ rights and Pride Month is a moment when lots of us celebrate progress.

"We're sorry for any offense caused by the advert, which aimed to bring awareness to the injustices people still face around the world," the spokesperson added.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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